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Gene Patents and Public Policy

There are a number of ongoing legal actions concerning patent rights that could affect the implementation of personalized medicine, such as patents on genes or tests. In an opinion piece at The Scientist, Courtenay Brinckerhoff, a partner at Foley & Lardner, writes that "the question being debated is whether these advances are most likely to flourish within the patent system or outside of it." Do patents, she asks, encourage innovation or prevent competition? Because much of biomedical research is publicly funded, "at its heart, this debate may be more of a public policy question than a legal one," Brinckerhoff says.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.